Time hon­ours work of strong silence breakers

The Observer - - NEWS WORLD - – Bronte Coy

WITH the faces of five women – in­clud­ing celebri­ties Tay­lor Swift and Ash­ley Judd – on the cover of Time mag­a­zine’s 2017 Person of the Year is­sue, you could be for­given for miss­ing a sub­tle nod to a sixth.

But it’s there – in the form of a vel­vet-clad el­bow.

“The Silence Breakers” – the so­cial move­ment aimed at rais­ing aware­ness about sex­ual harassment and as­sault – rep­re­sents a broad range of peo­ple, mostly women, from the first pub­lic ac­cusers of dis­graced Hol­ly­wood mogul Har­vey We­in­stein, to those who shared their sto­ries of abuse us­ing the hash­tag #MeToo.

Along with Swift and Judd are former Uber en­gi­neer Su­san Fowler, lob­by­ist Adama Iwu and straw­berry picker and Mex­i­can im­mi­grant Is­abel Pas­cual.

The el­bow in the lower right cor­ner be­longs to an anony­mous young hos­pi­tal worker from Texas who was a vic­tim of sex­ual harassment and feared dis­clos­ing her iden­tity would af­fect her fam­ily.

She told Time she re­mem­bered “vivid de­tails” about what had hap­pened to her.

“I thought, ‘What just hap­pened? Why didn’t I react?’ ‘Did I do some­thing, did I say some­thing, did I look a certain way to make him think that was OK?’” she said. Time’s Ed­ward Felsen­thal said: “This is the fastest mov­ing so­cial change we’ve seen in decades and it be­gan with in­di­vid­ual acts of courage by hun­dreds of women and some men too ... who came for­ward to tell their sto­ries.”


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